In the final weeks and months of the Obama administration, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Pesticide Programs issued a flurry of reports on some of the country’s most widely used pesticides. Decisions made on the basis of these environmental and health assessments will likely determine the level of pesticide residue allowed on the food we eat. They will affect children’s neurological health and development, particularly in agricultural communities. They will determine how farmworkers are protected from pesticide exposures.
A study by scientists at Madurai Kamaraj University, Tamil Nadu, has found evidence that chronic exposure to organophosphate insecticides induces diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance in both humans and mice. The researchers found that organophosphate-induced diabetes was mediated by gut bacteria. The results were published in the journal Genome Biology.
In a review of existing research, commissioned by a committee of the European Parliament, a group of European researchers has identified benefits of organic food production for human health. The researchers recommend the parliament to consider giving priority to certain organic production practices and their use also in conventional agriculture. This recommendation comes from a one-year study resulting in the report 'Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture'. The experts list several advantages of methods used in organic agriculture that benefit human health.
In 2014, the first and most comprehensive look at the environmental causes of autism and developmental delay, known as the CHARGE study, found that the nearby application of agricultural pesticides greatly increases the risk of autism. Women who lived less than a mile from fields where chlorpyrifos was sprayed during their second trimesters of pregnancy, as Magda did, had their chances of giving birth to an autistic child more than triple.
Bird flu is back, and is spreading quickly. But don't worry, the virus isn't targeting humans - yet. The H5N8 strain of bird flu reached Europe in October 2016, and since then has been detected in at least 14 countries including France, Denmark and Germany. In Germany alone, authorities have recorded more than 30 separate incidents of bird flu, leading to the cull of tens of thousands of domesticated chickens, ducks and geese, among others. In the wild, more than 500 birds are known to have been infected as well.
Wetlands constitute an important natural resource that is overlooked by many of us. When people think of wetlands, they tend to picture unpleasant landscapes, mosquitoes and strange smells, but they don’t see the handful of benefits these habitats provide for the ecosystem as a whole. These natural benefits often are translated into economic goods. When we look into all of the great things wetlands do for us, it is hard to deny that we can’t do without them. Wetlands play a key role in regulating water quality and availability in certain areas.
A veterinarian appears to have been infected with a strain of avian flu known as H7N2 that spread among more than 100 cats housed at New York City animal shelters. If confirmed, this would be the first known transmission of this bird flu strain from cat to human, officials said. New York City health officials said the vet has recovered from a mild illness, and there's no sign that the flu has spread to shelter workers or those who've adopted cats. Still, the city's top health official is calling for caution.
Bei einer Untersuchung von Fischen aus deutschen Supermärkten hat die Umweltschutzorganisation Greenpeace Rückstände des Pflanzenschutzmittels Ethoxyquin entdeckt. Wie gefährlich sind Pestizide und was haben sie im Fisch verloren? Zu den untersuchten Produkten zählen Tiefkühlprodukte, Räucherlachs und frischer Fisch aus deutschen Super- und Biomärkten. Rückstände wurden in 45 von 54 Stichproben gefunden – in 32 Fischen, zum Beispiel Lachs, Forelle, Dorade und Wolfsbarsch, lag die Menge über der für Fleisch geltenden zulässigen Höchstmenge.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects about 1 in 68 children in the United States, and a combination of genetic and environmental factors, along with complications during pregnancy have been associated with ASD diagnoses. A new study from the National Institute of Environmental Health Services has strengthened the link between prenatal exposure to agricultural pesticides and ASD. The study’s findings have been published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.
Neonicotinoids are considered safe because of their low affinities to mammalian nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) relative to insect nAChRs. However, because of importance of nAChRs in mammalian brain development, there remains a need to establish the safety of chronic neonicotinoid exposures with regards to children’s health. Here we examined the effects of long-term (14 days) and low dose (1 μM) exposure of neuron-enriched cultures from neonatal rat cerebellum to nicotine and two neonicotinoids: acetamiprid and imidacloprid.